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HELM Conference 14 -15 September, Loughborough 1 Reflective overview on use of a VLE in supporting student learning Stephen Hibberd, Cliff Litton, Claire.

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Presentation on theme: "HELM Conference 14 -15 September, Loughborough 1 Reflective overview on use of a VLE in supporting student learning Stephen Hibberd, Cliff Litton, Claire."— Presentation transcript:

1 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 1 Reflective overview on use of a VLE in supporting student learning Stephen Hibberd, Cliff Litton, Claire Chambers School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham

2 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 2 URL: Username: melees2005 Password: melees2005 Overview Background Use of a VLE Development Pilot (Phase 1) Expansion (Phase 2) Integration (Phase 3) Upgrade (Phase 4) Diversity and Special Needs Enhancement of Learning and Teaching Reflections and Transformations

3 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 3 Background – Nottingham perspective MELEES is a web-based environment to support non- specialist mathematics students taking University level mathematics Service Mathematics Foundation 3 modules 60 students (per Semester) Engineering First Year12 modules 850 students (per Semester) Engin., Built Env. Physics, Chemistry Biochemistry Second Year 6 modules 400 students (per Semester) Engin., Built Env. Third/Fourth Year 4 modules 300 students (per Session) Engineering UNiM 8 modules teaching staff Engineering Inhomogeneity: intake level, A-level (varying grades), A/S level, GCSE, etc.; Seven main Client (Subject) Schools; Parallel teaching (Nottingham and Malaysia), Continuation modules; Optional modules; Special needs.

4 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 4 Background – MELEES objectives i)the establishment of a learning environment for non-specialist students of mathematics offering support resources, assessment and module-specific information; ii) a means of promoting active self-learning of students to supplement lectures; iii) a range of materials reflecting the diversity of intake abilities in mathematics; iv) broadening the range of learning and support opportunities for students; v) a means of providing up-to-date information to client schools on their students’ learning and assessment activities in mathematics; vi) improved communication with students and their client schools. Funded by University of Nottingham:E-Learning Development Fund (£42.5k) L&T Development Fund (£5k)

5 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 5 Use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE - WebCT) Provision of a facility to supply learning materials electronically Improve consistency and quality of student learning Managed learning environment Flexibility and access Communication Access to directed information and services To enable E-Support, E-Learning and E-Teaching VLE Module teaching Student Global Support Student/ staff interaction Student learning pedagogy Learning map

6 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 6 Development – Phase 1 (Pilot) Inform students & staff Create initial modules Use of a VLE Autumn – 1 module Spring – 4 modules Access to ‘existing’ materials Access to extended materials Develop ‘e-learning’ aspects Student and staff feedback Dissemination - Implementation level Screenshot of entry page of HG1M01 module

7 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 7 Development – Phase 1 (Pilot) – Feedback Autumn Semester Autumn Semester module HG1M01 (non-standard maths background) 80% of students logged into MELEES more than once; 87% of students using MELEES logged into the site after the end of formal teaching; In an -based follow-up survey - feedback: “Very resourceful website. Good job.” “Without these I believe that I wouldn’t have achieved 72% overall in this module!” “I think MELEES was a big help during the first semester. I wish it was more developed so that it was available to me during the second semester. Well done!!!!” Used by students of all abilities

8 HELM Conference September, Loughborough students registered for MELEES 768 regular users (printing, downloading and viewing) Student priority list of features: Past exam papers and full solutions Past coursework and full solutions Example sheets with full solutions Interactive self-assessment tests HGAM12 (largest module) 86% of students logged in after teaching ended Some 33,838 ‘hits’ (content pages and organiser pages) 401 students achieving 20 hits or more (average hits 73 per student) 98 (21%) students submitting interactive multiple-choice tests for grading Development – Phase 1 (Pilot) – Feedback Session

9 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 9 Development – Phase 2 (Expansion & Enhancement) All modules included (18) Generic template Exemplar materials Guidelines on content Access to existing materials Supplementary materials (OHP slides, notes, etc) Teaching support materials (eg HELM, Mathcentre) Trialling interactive elements Wider student feedback Wider student tracking Detailed feedback to staff on module basis Dissemination - Module level Screenshot of entry page MELEES module

10 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 10 Development – Phase 2 (Expansion) – Autumn Semester ,910 new students, over 72,000 hits 1,910 new students, over 72,000 hits 1,380 students logged in after the end of formal teaching 1,380 students logged in after the end of formal teaching Over 170 hours spent viewing general support workbooks Over 170 hours spent viewing general support workbooks Over 100 responses to survey prior to exam (97% - helpful) Over 100 responses to survey prior to exam (97% - helpful) Extremely positive feedback comments from lecturers and students. Extremely positive feedback comments from lecturers and students. Student usage of MELEES Tracking of usage vs attainment & attendance (problem classes) HGBM13

11 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 11 Development – Phase 3 (Integration & Consolidation) Usage tracking Extended student support E-learning initiatives Trialling interactive elements (video tutorials – Mathtutor) Special needs Extended Support Over 130 replies from an questionnaire conducted at the end of the Autumn Semester (2004-5) indicated 88% used MELEES after the end of formal teaching. Detailed responses included: Which features did you use: module materials - 85%past exam info. - 94% Usefulness of MELEES: (1 – extremely useful to 5 not useful) 1 – 36%2 – 37%3 – 11%4 – 13%5 – 3% Where was MELEES accessed? (after end of the Autumn Term): Campus – 58% Nottingham (Off campus) – 62% Outside Nottingham (UK) – 55% Overseas – 3% Dissemination – Student use level

12 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 12 Development – Tracking Resource tracking by student Individual document tracking

13 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 13 documenthits average time Complex numbers and vectors46108:06 Calculus Refresher42810:45 Differentiation41806:10 Algebra Refresher38210:39 Matrices and Determinants38013:06 Algebra Refresher34206:36 Integration33810:58 A useful guide to Facts and Formulae26303:16 Trigonometry25306:16 Mathematical Language22613:33 Equation of circle & :22 Worksheet: Basic Algebra Rules17013:26 Hyperbolic Functions16605:21 Mathcentre Leaflets13706:41 Graphs of Common Functions Exp &13302:47 Sequences and Series13105:34 Graphs of Common Functions Trig :56 The laws of logarithms12706:17 Epanding or removing brackets11205:53 documenthits average time Partial Fractions8915:51 Mathematical Language22613:33 Matrices and Determinants38013:06 Integration33810:58 Calculus Refresher42810:45 Algebra Refresher38210:39 Logarithm7809:25 Completing the square7209:17 Simple linear equations8108:19 Complex numbers and vectors46108:06 Worksheet: Basic Algebra Rules17007:56 What is a logarithm11007:25 Linear equations in one variable5006:44 Mathcentre Leaflets13706:41 Algebra Refresher34206:36 Substitution & Formulae7906:28 The laws of logarithms12706:17 Trigonometry25306:16 HELM Workbook: Basic Algebra (all)6306:16 Development – Tracking – General support Top 20 hits Top 20 time

14 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 14 Session analysis assists in identifying usage patterns Development – Tracking – individual student use

15 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 15 Development – Phase 4 (Upgrade and Maintenance) WebCT6 system upgrade Continuation Embedding in teaching Special needs Pedagogy Module upgrades CAA Support materials: HELM (workbooks / CAA) Mathcentre (documents) Mathtutor (video/quizzes) Additional Features VLE : Notes – allow students to take notes with on-line learning Chat – real time text and ‘whiteboard’ interaction Discussion – post and respond to messages on specific topics Dissemination - Pedagogic level?

16 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 16 Diversity and Special Needs University / School Interface (‘the mathematics problem’) Learning Disabilities (SENDA requirements) Universal problem – good practice and support materials are / becoming available General guidelines (students/staff) Directed support Dedicated student support area

17 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 17 Best format identified (consultation) Key documents converted; high contrast for ease of use Separate area created and populated with different format Continued liaison with student for future modules No. of sessions StrategyAverage CW mark CW test M/C Overall mark Student 110 (270 hits) Download44/501/2742% Student 214 (258 hits) View on screen 41/502/2744% Student 39 (108 hits) Download/ print 49/5010/2744% Group average (90 hits)41/5015/2754% Partially sighted student Diversity and Special Needs – Case studies Student usage: tracking - 3 dyslexic students (now available for future students)

18 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 18 support for traditional teaching methods (module focussed); supplementary support to enhance student learning (module / cohort focussed);  widening student experiences in learning and assessment for all students (student focussed); targeted support for students with special needs (cohort focussed);  use of monitoring and evaluation of student learning styles and preferences (teaching staff focussed); ready collection and evaluation of extensive feedback (environment/module effectiveness). Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (VLE)

19 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 19 Improved the quality of student learning ? - heavily used and rated by students Flexibility and access - no limits on usage, location independent, time independent Communication - system seems to encourage student support, update/info from lecturers easily provided, bulletin board queries can be answered by other students Reflections and Transformations – Advantages for students

20 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 20 Evaluation on – MELEES objectives i)the establishment of a learning environment for non-specialist students of mathematics offering support resources, assessment and module-specific information; ii) a means of promoting active self-learning of students to supplement lectures; iii) a range of materials reflecting the diversity of intake abilities in mathematics; iv) broadening the range of learning and support opportunities for students; v) a means of providing up-to-date information to client schools on their students’ learning and assessment activities in mathematics; vi) improved communication with students and their client schools. YES – heavily used by students YES – access and use of self-learning materials encouraging YES – materials now becoming available, can be readily assimilated YES – more extensive facilities yet to be explored YES – not heavily used by client schools, very useful for teaching staff YES – more investigation needed but can be provided incrementally

21 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 21 Success Factors Dedicated project assistant University level strategy (still evolving) School level implementation support Collaboration of teaching staff Technical support (IS Learning Team) Collaborative Network (e-learning group) Integration with Central University system (Student Portal) Development Factors Pedagogic and experiential input needed Effective e-learning, e-support materials? Encourage synoptic learning of mathematics Conclusions - Implementation of MELEES Difficulties Emerging E-learning strategies/policy Registration / maintenance of students on system Lack of collaboration of teaching staff

22 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 22 Username: melees2005 Password: melees2005 (general info. and generic materials)

23 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 23

24 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 24 Web-based environment WebCT– University supported, flexible (with some constraints), software updated externally Web-based environment WebCT– University supported, flexible (with some constraints), software updated externally System can be readily managed and materials updated by School Admin/ Secretarial staff (general IT skills needed). Reduction in ‘admin’ enquiries (eg missing example sheets). System can be readily managed and materials updated by School Admin/ Secretarial staff (general IT skills needed). Reduction in ‘admin’ enquiries (eg missing example sheets). Can readily incorporate materials of a variety of types from a wide range of sources (third-party, motivation, information and technical). Can readily incorporate materials of a variety of types from a wide range of sources (third-party, motivation, information and technical). Provides a comprehensive, consistent and easily accessed facility Provides a comprehensive, consistent and easily accessed facility Student access to Module materials readily managed Student access to Module materials readily managed Module learning materials readily updated and shared Module learning materials readily updated and shared Links to other web resources easily incorporated Links to other web resources easily incorporated Monitoring of student use of materials, tracking student use etc. Used for self-assessment tests; return of grading marks etc. Monitoring of student use of materials, tracking student use etc. Used for self-assessment tests; return of grading marks etc. Reflections and Transformations – Advantages for staff

25 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 25 Development – Phase 2 (Expansion) – Student responses All inclusive, well organised web site, a perfect example on excellent teaching resources, which other modules could follow The best module website I have available to me. A brilliant, useful website, that has helped a lot. It is the most organised, professional module I have been lectured. Very useful, as I have access in my room, and it’s easy to look up if I am stuck with anything. Good job! Thanks a lot for creating the MELEES website! I feel much more convenient for collecting useful information if there’s no lecturer at hand! Do wish you go on making the site better! Suggestions for improvement include more external links, an interactive ‘live’ support session & materials available sooner

26 HELM Conference September, Loughborough 26 Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (VLE) To encourage self-directed learning (through expanding the learning resource base and flexible structuring of the resources). To broaden the range of teaching and learning activities (through incorporation of motivating examples, interactive links, etc). To address the needs of ‘non-standard’ students from gap or placement years, broader access qualifications (wider participation) To provide specialist support for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia or visual impairment To gateway access to an increasing wealth of national and international learning resources To improve communication (between student, teaching staff and client Schools in Engineering) and link the mathematics provision more directly to the students engineering courses. To encourage and disseminate good and innovative practice in support of high quality teaching and learning.


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